tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 8, 2014 4:00am-6:01am EST
the tightening of the in theand israel negotiations. to address that to some extent. i don't know how many of you have had the experience of watching this incredible in theange, interaction media and the government. it's not something i've experienced in any other country. it was there but largely ignored .ntil rather recently several developments which we mentioned, the eu boycott of
, the danish and dutchian banks -- the investing,ting -- dis the talk by angela merkel. you can bet the tom friedman article is being this custom and in ther party media and israel. thatnk it's very important .ay lead to a tipping point >> the palestinians have one think, as awhich, i last resort they may use before going to the united nations again.
they are reluctant to do this it would be very costly to the united states because congress has passed a law that declares that we shall withdraw from any eu and specialized agencies that admits a member and that would cause havoc for us. we are opposed to this policy. there is a need, i think, in the future if this american initiative continues, and i believe it will, to develop more .ublic diplomacy peace is not made by diplomats in the secret conversations. the societies of both israel and
palestine are committed to peace if it is to succeed. john kerry will begin to turn a united statesge more directly with the israeli public and the palestinian public. it's already happening in a way that we need to build this and as a very important component of diplomacy. >> there is a night where scenario. john kerry's talks fail, everything goes back to how it was. palestinians are just too tired about it. mayville they will go to a new
specialization -- maybe they will go into a new specialization. how stupid. then israel is labeled the black mark. would be a terrible scenario that could happen. i hope it does not, for everyone's benefit. >> i think it's important to draw the distinction between bds, boycott disinvest, sanction, and give the impression you try to delegitimize israel as a state. there are two different things. is aimed at israeli investments and activities in the occupied territories.
therets that are produced and labeled "made in israel," actually it is not true because they do not claim they are part , but my way of thinking is it is a perfectly legitimate, peaceful way to put pressure on israel because the product are not made in israel. what is more complicated is the disinvestment of banks because they all have branches in the .ettlements that is more concerning than the question of boycotts on product made in the territories. on the other hand, the question itimization is more
loaded because this is based on .he basic narrative of israel there is a battle of two narratives. the twain shall never meet. attacking the basic narrative on either side is a dangerous proposition. it's one thing to maintain your own narrative and another to attack the other. >> yes? right there? >> sale, you mention peace will ultimately come not through mentioned-- phil, you
peace will ultimately come through the people themselves. in your travels, did you encounter any influence or hear the peacebout initiatives or even the geneva accords being resurgent? >> i think the geneva accords is one of the templates as are the a peaceparameters for agreement. they are still working and they have institutionalized and they are upsizing. ie arab league initiative, think, is quite popular among the pragmatic center in israel although it is feared by the far right because it shows an
israeli withdrawal in exchange for peace. many are many, international and private organizations that are trying to promote dialogue. institutionry old whereby israelis and to eachians listen other and ultimately begin to accept each other to mobilize themselves for the approach to peacemaking. that alone has not been enough , but ie this impasse applaud these american groups israelnd teams over to and palestine. i think there is a payoff there and they should be supportive.
>> i think we have time for one last question -- two. please. >> with israel's perceived need for security under a peace , netanyahu was asked a question, who do you trust? was, i trust my own army. that is a strong statement precluding the u.s. or international involvement in the jordan valley. i'm wondering how serious you take that and what it implies moving forward. kerry, i wouldhn take it as an opening position
and would not accept the final position. if that means they are permanently stationed along the jordan river, that's a total nonstarter. wingyou deal with right israeli government, you always distillbe careful to real security concerns out of the next that includes strong ideological and religious considerations. ever talkedno one about the security of the palestinians? >> allow me. [laughter] both sides have legitimate security concerns. them and palestine does, too.
team, talked to the peace i pointed that out and i pointed out the danger and talking only to the israelis about peace terms and security arrangements in going to the palestinians and say this is what we need to do. it's been done before and it's a stupid thing to do. it's a mistake. president's guys have not done it that way. we have to defend ourselves by ourselves and continue to do that. israel is not defending itself now. it would be a quite different security situation and i'm not only talking about funding but all kinds of equipment and so the 73 more that have supply issues and requirements.
i don't think they've ever let them down when it comes to security needs. they are maintaining the qualitative edge and they have done it very well to the present day. is wider than it has been since the 1967 war. there have been no complaints with the obama administration regarding security support. it's not true now and it was not necessary then. they did this to ensure palestinian security and we have heard that they have needs, too. what security needs to they have? one can analyze that and they do have needs. to me, one of the biggest problems we need to solve is now, it's the idea that controls the west bank.
it is under military law, not civilian law. they have their own ethical and moral considerations. things asyond those published by israeli former soldiers. to getdest thing will israel to accept that they no longer have total freedom of action to do whatever they want in the palestinian territories in the new state of palestine. that will be a big psychological barrier that needs to be broken through. >> i think the u.s. must remain
sensitive to the security of the state of israel. the real threat is its occupation on other nations and that is simply untenable in the 21st century because it violates all universal attitudes towards human rights, human freedom, self-determination. that is the real security problem. of course israel, like all nations has other security problems and they should he attended to. i think this has given a sense of false confidence that military force is the key to security. it is not and i think history
confirms that. >> one word about the palestinians. >> so they can begin to live normal lives. i think with that, ladies and we will close out for tod today. of y, i think we are out taoeuim time. i appreciate your attendance today. coming.ou for and keep an eye out for us in the future. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] rec
facebook and follow us on twitter. >> defense secretary chuck hagel spoke to reporters today at the pentagon and discussed the ongoing investigation into by military trainees presence in afghanistan after this year. a half hour. >> good afternoon. for giving me some time this afternoon. as of d to announce that about five minutes ago the announced that he's
nominating robert work to serve next deputy secretary of defense. and who most of you know most of you have worked with when he was undersecretary of respected, ighly nationally recognized strategic practitioner and expert n national security as well as budgeting, technology, military affai affairs. corps officer he is an admired and tested leader as ng until recently served you know as the undersecretary of the navy. hose responsibilities included the day-to-day management of the departme department of the navy. held leadership positions with important defense policy think including currently as .e.o. for the center of new american security. his career of public service, his ability and experience and d.o.d. make him
uniquely qualified for this position. if confirmed he will bring to the deputy's role the essential required to help lead our national defense enterprise a very challenging time. the president and i both willingness to serve his country again and return to the department of defense. looking forward to bob getting here and working closely with him. we together and the team here intend to continue to strengthen department. our military and our national security. as you know, christine fox has een serving these past few months as acting secretary of defense. this department and i have her wise nefited from counsel, vast knowledge and experience and innovative as we have moved forward with shaping d.o.d.'s future spending plans.
i want to thank christine for her willingness to stay on in until bob is confirmed by the u.s. senate. want to mention three other important presidential nominees. wormeth was nominated of ext undersecretary defense for policy. most of you know her and work with her. mckeown under the defense for policy. most of you have worked with him at the white house or capitol hill. mike mccord who you all know d.o.d.'s to serve as next comptroller. all of these very experienced and capable garded individuals will bring tremendous expertise and leadership to the positions. like bob they are exceptional professionals. four of the most experienced national security rofessionals that d.o.d. has had in these positions at any
one time. experiencea depth of and knowledge and expertise that is as impressive as we have seen d.o.d.t i'm grateful that they have greed to serve in these positions and i'm proud to serve with them. in times of great change and challenge, our country must have the right kind of people in trusted positions of leadership. i appreciate the senate armed ervices committee's prompt action to schedule hearings for the nominees all this month. confirmed minees are and if the senate acts on other nominees, now nt before it, then most of the jobs confirmed pentagon will be filled. also have one additional personnel announcement to make combatant ne of our commanders. nominated resident air force general paul selva to
transportation command. he leads air mobility command commanded at the squadron, group, wing an headquarters levels. an onfirmed he will be outstanding successor to general frazier who has been an effective command are nd we will miss him and we appreciate his tremendous service to has country. allve high expectations for of these leaders. d.o.d. and our country will rely rely on nd they will their integrity and leadership. know this country is grateful to these men and women and i know our country is grateful for men and women who serve our nation with honor and diligence. of them, the president is proud of them, and we are families.their i'm proud to serve with them. they have earned the respect and of the american
people and allies and partners all over the world. ut some of our people are falling short of these high standards and expectations. ethics and character are values we can not take for granted. must be constantly reap forced. it is the responsibility of all ask for the trust and confidence of the american people to assure these values imbued in all of our people and we all live up to them. welcome with service secretaries chairman dempsey and joint chiefs. we addressed this problem. we will continue to address it it. fix confidence and character are not exclusive. they are woven together. they must be. culture ofmpromising accountability must exist at every level of command. that must be practiced and suffi by leadership.
it is starts at the top. ethics and character are the of an institution and society. hey must be constantly emphasized at every level of command in training, curriculum d.o.d. in bothof corps.ficer and enlisted the next few weeks chairman dempsey and i will announce services at all our are taking to deal with this problem. staff a sign my senior general officer who will report directly to me on issues related ethics, character and leadership. and i will work directly with service secretaries and service chiefs. this officer will coordinate the of the services on this issue, work every day with all we will meetes and weekly so i can receive reports rom d.o.d. senior leadership including both officer and enlisted leadership on the making. we are
his will be an slaugabsolute tp priority doctor the service secretaries, chiefs, general defendly and me. you and i will be glad it take your questions. secretary, just quick follow-up on what you just said ethics and then a question. do you think that all this time sort of at one of the root causes of some of this bad behavior or just jeff looked during the -- verlooked during the war and things are coming to light that were happening all along? my question on afghanistan you met with your top leaders from afghanistan this week. do you see a specific drawn of summer?for the what goals do you think you want to get to for the number of afghanistan over the summer, and is it a fait ccompli that you think there will be no b.s.a. before the
elections? first arding the question, i don't think there is answer to the issue , a lapse in lues some of those areas that we do know about. we're taking a hard look at this. find out, is d to ?here a deep wide problem if there is, then what is the scope of that problem? how did this occur? as it a constant focus of 12 wars on two long land taking our emphasis off some of these other areas? i don't know. we intend to find out. issue an inner service
that cuts across all lines and all commands. putting this as a number one priority for this institution. general dempsey feels the same. our leaders and service ecretaries, chiefs, feel the same way. that is what we will do. but i don't think it is as or two s one thing things, but we intend to find out. on afghanistan, as you noted we met with the president this week, a very good first assessment assessment. the president received that on on retrograde and all the other dimensions of what going on in afghanistan. it was an honest exchange commanders and .imself about the future you know our position has not we have n that
continued to encourage president the b.s.a.ign incidentally, a document that he negotiated in its finality and greed to, a document that was overwhelmingly supported by the jurga that he brought together. a document as far as we can tell of the ry measurement people of afghanistan supported by the people of afghanistan. so, we continue to hope and that will be signed. e will continue to plan and work with our nato and isaf a post-2014 r mission. you know we have identified that advised and counterterrorism. to brussels in two or three weeks, which be on the his will
agenda. if we could ary, stay in afghanistan we were told millithere are 385,000 afghan troops and police fighting season they did quite well. the taliban gained no ground. know the president in the state of the union said if the .s.a. is signed there could be u.s. troops there after 2014. i wonder if you can explain, the afghans are doing, why does there have to be afghanistan ps in after 2014? most americans are against this. they all leave at the end of the year? the mission.ine the president has stated clearly, and we are proceeding as you know first the our role in n of afghanistan has changed. lady -- lead combat mission
has been turned other to the afghans. presentation of the united states and isaf partners to train, continue assist and advise. we do that all over the world partners and allies as well as continue our counterterrorism i think most everyone supports. interest.arly in our the mission with change as it is .hanging now dramatically because that mission would be changing and would be different, you don't need near as many need some. you you need force protection and suppo training, assist, advise. >> what would happen to that u.s. y if there were no troops going into 2015, 2016? i'm not going to speculate
except as you noted the afghan pretty well ormed the last it years, imperfect, problems, still need help. in the process of institution building. remember, 12 years ago there any institutions in afghanistan. continuation of investing and helping them invest in their own give and institutions to them the capability, which we're diagnose all over the world in examines building with partners allies. different in different places. it is not too far out of the we have been t trying to do, the pointing, if we are work where invited in by the afghan people b.s.a. is signed as the president made clear, i think there is an appropriate to 10 to help the afghan people build their own self-government, elf-defense and capabilities
they have already made tremendous progress on. >> you are going to continue counterterrorism you will need drone with the possibility of no after 2014 and where in the region would you base adrenaline program if those come to pass? are you considering halting tkr on pakistan? >> i don't get into the specifics of what our plans are intelligence and drone strikes and other issues like that. say this. we are constantly assessing to the united states in word terests all over the with partners and we have threats coming from different of the word and we address those threats. assessinge constantly your assets and what is required. planning, as i said,
in a post-2014 role afghanist afghanistan. barbara. sorry, i didn't -- >> i was going to follow. would you consider if you don't option of a drone base in afghanistan, if you don't b.s.a.oops, don't have a would you consider basing drones in india for instance? we have to consider everything. that is my point. you are constantly updating and and looking at possibilities, strategic nterestses where you posture those assets, where the threats are and where did you have llies that are willing to work with you, capacity building with allies. you are in a constant review on all those things. the case, would be we would have to be -- and we optionsing at different for everything. that is not unique to afghanistan. back it to take you
ethics. you quoted the number one priority -- priority.a number one a high priority i think is what i said. priorities.ot of officersard it general and generals and admirals you the cases of drinking on job, gambling, assault, multiple friends. you have been in the military. how hard is it for these people, small number though it may be -- how hard is it to do the right thing? and what are your concerns that as the enlisted ranks look at and look at scandals in their own ranks people are going unsettled, lose confidence. what should the american people hink when they hear you speaking about concerns whether has the u.s. military moral courage and is ethical? it sounds pretty serious. i don't believe
a question whether the u.s. ilitary has moral courage or ethical. in fact if you will recall what i said in my statement i of the nted most all people in this institution because they do have integrity and hey live by that character and courage. there are some where we have some problems. we know that. but you know there is only one way it deal with an issue and it on. is you take you don't apologize for it or othert, you don't run the way. you say it straight up. i don't know of an institution that world that does better than this institution. it is this department of defense that puts the problems up in front with the press when we a problem e somewhere. we open it up. you know about it. we know the american people need to know about it. the congress. afraid of that. the issue is then how do you fix it, what did you do about it? i said, i don't know all of
the depth or width of this. issues.we have you all report on them. we are not trying to back away that. so, let's go figure it out. whether it is sexual assault or it is but we are going to fix it and be honest and transparent about it. institution tremendous credit in that. to whatever we need to get to in order to assure as as we can -- you said it, i sed it in my language -- trust and confidence, complete trust and confidence the american in this institution. i think most people have that tod said and as i have you heard me say often there is o margin of error in a lot of this. if you choose this profession there's an expectation that goes standard.and but that is your choice. ut you must live with that
expectation and standard. >> let me ask you a budget mr. work's qualifications. s you prepare and roll out the 2015 pwufrgt to cut about $-- $41get you have to cut about billion from last year and the bipartisan agreement cap calls for. going in the area of cutting capability, cutting capacity, those two baskets from the skimmer that you discussed in july? that you all heard me address this in some detail and will be addressing it in more detail as we get closer to budget time. you have to come at all of these thin hings, not unlike the conversation we had on ethics nd standards, from a holistic point of view. certainly you do your budget. about o heard me talk readiness, modernization, capability. are priorities that we
focus on. o, as you assess the resources and match your resources to mission, those are three that always must be in front of everything else. now, will there be cuts across board? of course there will. you can't do it any other way. there be adjustments across the board? of course. readiness t preserve and modernization and the capacity in order to do the job of protecting this within the framework of have. sources you we will do that. i think the plan we lay out in the budget, the narrative that numbers, do that. into the t getting specifics of the numbers or rojects or what is in that, i think i would just once again holistic that it is a
approach. then you have to also not think fiscal year 2015, that budget that we will present five-year plan and on out 10 years. you think about the commitment ty of a to large weapon systems whether ships or planes or anything else. sustain those and all that goes with that? amount of mense thinking and strategic planning ithin the scope of your resources. i'm satisfied that we have done effectively. i think it is a very good plan. i think it is an effective plan. forward to presenting it to the congress after the president rolls his budget out 4. march and i look very much forward to it but goingaining into some detail on why we think this makes sense. to need the congress as a partner. you seem toets that
suggest it will come across all portions of the operations and maintenance, force structure and modernization. don't take $41 billion out of one basket. that is my point. you assess the strategic interests and guidance in the defend your country. what it will take to do that, working through that. you examine -- you mentioned the skimmer. asked to doreason i the skimmer so we have an inventory of what we have. and what ur resources are we obligated for? o you assess every weapon system and every force posture. of assess every component this institution. guide that along the path of what are your strategic nterests and how you fulfill those. it isn't a simple take $41 pocket. out of this
it is a balancing. that is the word, balance. balance your budget, ot just ledger-wise but it has to be balanced in the interest of our country to defend this country. back to your senior ethics officer you are you tell what can about that person, rank or name? and also on afghanistan just for moment, i know that you said that the united states wants an possible, as soon as but was there a consensus or feeling at the meeting with the a meeting -- you may go to brussels without the .s.a. and may wait for the election, probably wait for the lection it pass without a b.s.a. was there an acceptance of that? >> we are dealing with the with, so re dealing plan, you in mind, you think through. one of the reasons the president commanders in is
was to talk through this face to face. he spent a huge amount of time on this. every time general dempsey and i him tuesday we talked about this. we talk about it with him on occasions. he's been putting a lot of his own time into this thinking it through, our commanders have. do ral dempsey and i exhibits with other generals sometimes two or three times a week. we are assessing all of this as nato ministerial b.s.a. without a signed or n't know what well have won't have but we have to plan for the future, make decisions. decisions are based on all of the factors that you are , commitments, and that planning is not easy. it takes time. one of our thaeut t -- nato
and isaf partners, i listened to a number of them, with here the met last two months, have said the same thing. budgets, planning. -- we st can't wait to can't wait it hear on an indefinite basis what we are either. do all of these factors are part of it. all ve to plan for possibilities here. ethics officer, i don't have a name to give you. will give you that name short shortly. we are not going to let there go very long. this will be very soon. as i said in my remarks it will officer.ral it will be a very senior level. an individual who is not just this
but i want someone who understands the outside, who derstand understands the pressures of ombat, the pressures of curriculums and testing, and who as a good well-rounded background if -- in command. some ideas, but i will make that decision shortly. we have another meeting this week coming up and as i ave said we will have weekly meetings. this position will be in plac
[inaudible] >> okay. it always helps to turn the button on. let me start from the beginning. good morning, everyone. thanks, andy, for the very kind introduction to i want to support what the partnership for a secure america stein to do, not to build a better sense of bipartisanship here in washington. on capitol hill in particular.
as andy noted, both bob and i have worked for republican and democratic administration. i was -- started as an intern in the jimmy carter administration and with all the way through the george w. bush administration and i certainly believe that while politics is important, when it comes to national security of the united states, americans have to unite. there's no reason why the two political parties can't be in support of each other. and of our country on the most important issues, and the iran nuclear issue i think is probably the number one priority of american foreign policy in 2014. because we are at a very critical, the administration is a very critical juncture. let me start by saying i strongly support what president obama and sectors day john kerry are trying to do. when i served in the george w. bush administration working for secretary of state condoleezza rice, we tried to negotiate with the rand. in fact, we offered negotiation, p5+1 group, germany, being the one, britain, france, united
states, russia and china, we offered the 2006 and 2007 publicly for the iranians to negotiate and he turned us down. we formed this group of the security council members in germany because we thought it was important to have a global conversation with the iranians. and when they turned us down we turned towards sanctions and the bush administration helped to pass and the security council three chapter seven sanction resolution at the obama administration really took the baton from the bush administration and carried it forward. so i've always seen this policy to be highly bipartisan. i don't the discerning differences at all between president obama and president bush on this particular issue. i think we can take some comfort in that because it is the key issue for our country. that i do support what the president is time to do. andy mentioned until the negotiations over the last six months that it is ably handled under secretary of state wendy sherman for secretary kerry, we
have not had a consistent, sustained, strategic dialogue with the iranian government since the jimmy carter administration. and if there is a probability that the united states at some point could theoretically have to consider the use of force against iran, it does make sense to exhaust diplomacy first. and entered into the negotiations the president has committed himself to. so i support the idea of negotiation. it's entirely consistent in my view with what the bush administration was trying to do. i also believe that the president was right to negotiate the interview. and bob can speak with far greater authority on that and i can because he was part of the team that led the obama administration's efforts in the first four years. but that deal essentially freezes in place, as you know, the major elements that iran's nuclear program still provides the time for diplomacy to act and to operate. this problem will not be
overcome simply or quickly. you need a time that the president has now given us to negotiate. but i do think the next round of talks, for the final agreement, which begin next week in geneva will be infinitely more difficult. because now the p him... and centrifuges spinning is something that the united states i don't think can tolerate. we are going to have to see dismantlement of part of the program. i would think that the negotiators from our side and the european side would want to see some significant transformation of the arak heavy-water reactor. either a just moment of that
facility altogether or some kind of transition or that facility so that we can be assured that it doesn't open up another route through plutonium to nuclear weapon. and so i heard, under the foreign ministers the reef said last week that he had not committed to dismantlement. i expect, i have to hope that was for domestic purposes and iran. and i have a very complicated political theme in tehran. but i hope he understands and every in devon understands that dismantlement has to be part of this. and that the iranian government, which is seated before the international community and being judged, because they've misrepresented or lied about their program in the past, and because they have gone far beyond what the international committee wants them to do, they will have to prove to us not just through inspections, the iaea, but through dismantlement that they are ready to become a
peaceful country with civil nuclear power, and not a country intent on developing nuclear weapons. that's the test within. i think the pressure has shifted to them in peace negotiations. i strongly support the president and what he is trying to do. i think he has brought us very skillfully to the as and a where negotiations will not be much tougher. a couple more points because we want to speak very quickly to get to your questions. i know that congress has been considering the merits of additional sanctions on iran. and my own view on that is that the president has to decide, execute american foreign policy. we elected him to do that. the constitution gives them great authority in foreign policy. i don't think it's a reasonable proposition to think within a 535 people negotiating with iran. the president has to represent the united states and he has clues add to this administration has said that further sanctions at this time would not be helpful.
if that's what the negotiator thanks, i would think we should honor the wishes of the negotiators and support him on a bipartisan basis. there may come a time should negotiations break down where further sanctions by the congress would be helpful, but we would want to see, aching in my judgment, and integration between executive and legislative branches on this very important issue, it is not a trivial matter. this is the number one issue facing our country overseas. and so i hope that the report that congress will likely stand down on the current sanctions. i hope those reports are accurate. and that congress will give the president that time and the space in the room that he needs to be our chief diplomat, which is what he is, and her chief negotiator along with secretary kerry in this very important matter. and, finally, i do think it's important that we have leverage on our site. diplomacy often cannot succeed unless it's helped by leverage. what they mean by that is, i hope the european countries and
the other countries that used to trade with iran will now not rush as they are going to do to open up business as usual with the iranians. we've seen lots of delegations from european countries and asian countries in tehran trying to set the scene for a reopening of commercial ties if sanctions are lifted. and the major sanctions are still in place. it's the wrong message to the iranians to make them think that they are 90% of the way there. they are not. they have not yet made the fundamental compromise and i think secretary kerry was absolutely right the other day, two days ago, when he criticized this and said that we have got to maintain unity, internationally and send the iranians one message. and that is, there will not be business as usual with them commercially until they earn it. and they haven't yet earned it. and, finally, if you're trying to assess probability of the president has done that publicly, he called it a 50/50 probability of whether or not
the united states can be successful, i would think that the complicated politics of iran at some point are going to become a major part of the story. i don't doubt the sincerity of president rouhani or foreign minister zarif. they seem to be generally interested with a new relationship with united states and europe and in reform in general. but if they do negotiate and they bring back to tehran i think it is at least an open question, how the revolutionary guard, national security council and the supreme leader how money will react. and so our job, the job of our government is to defend our country at the negotiating table and negotiate the best possible and the toughest minded deal. it's going to be up to the iranians, the government to make sure that they are fully on board in tehran and that to me is an open question. we have yet to hear in a convincing way from a more reaction elements of the iranian government but i support the
president in which the administration success, and very happy to be here with my friend, bob einhorn. >> andy, thank you. i think the partnership for its secure america for inviting me. it's a special pleasure to be here with the nick burns who is one of the best foreign service officer from one of the best diplomats i've had the privilege to work with over these decades. i think since the geneva joint plan of action which agreed in november has been a kind of dynamic at work between tehran and washington. and it goes like this. critics in each capital attack their own administration for having gotten the short end of the stick in negotiations. what happens then is that the
administrations understandably defend themselves. they stress the benefits to the country of the interim deal, and they reassure their critics that in the final they stress the benefits to the country of the interim deal and the reassure the critics that in the final negotiations they will be very tough. these defenses in turn become ammunition for critics on the other side to attack the deal. for example, u.s. critics point out that the interim deal does not dismantle iran's nuclear infrastructure. it does not do that. the obama administration naturally feels compelled to say that in the final deal will be major dismantlement and major reduction of nuclear infrastructure.
the iranian critics say that, we told you, the americans are only interested in cutting our enrichment program. rouhani says we are not going to reduce any centrifuges. another example, the iranian critics say that the sanctions relief in the interim agreement are peanuts, are insignificant. the rouhani administration feels compelled to say that this interim deal was the first big crack in sanctions and that sanctions inevitably are going to unravel. u.s. critics read that and say, look at what is happening to our sanctions regime. it is falling apart.
and the administration then has to say it is not flying apart. the main sanctions remained in place. we are going to enforce the existing sanctions. we are going to impose additional sanctions measures under the existing sanctions regime, as they did yesterday. iranian critics say, you see, the american administration is not serious about negotiations, undermining the talks, only after regime change. they are only operating in bad faith. i wasn't i remain a supporter of the two-step approach to the negotiation, hitting an interim deal and buying time and face for negotiations on a comprehensive deal. i think there are good reasons for that. it gives us six months to test the willingness to implement the
deal conscientiously, and it halts further progress in iran's program, and into a situation where iran is making major progress while you are negotiating. that would be politically and strategically unacceptable. what one of the downsides of this two-step approach is you open yourself up to early criticism and you make it more difficult to get to the end again. but i agree with nick that this first-step deal, the first line of action, is a very good deal. of course, the test of the diplomatic track will really be what happens in the comprehensive agreement, and that is at least six months down the road. the joint plan of action does halt further progress in the iran's nuclear program, and in some small respect it reverses
progress, the requirement that iran neutralized its stocks of nearly 20% enriched uranium. it is important to remember that in the absence of this interim agreement iran could make major progress over the next six months in its program, it could shorten quite substantially the so-called breakout timeline, the time it takes to go from a decision to build nuclear weapons to having sufficient fissile material to produce a single nuclear weapon. that timeline would be shortened very substantially if iran would continue its program. but it is unable to do that. it is true the interim deal does not dismantle a single centrifuge. it permits some continuation of research and irrelevant activities.
that is absolutely the case. but these are objectives, these are items for the comprehensive deal. on the sanctions relief, i think there is a wide appreciation that the specific measures of sanctions relief are in fact quite modest. i think the concern is that there will be a kind of psychological shift, a shift in negotiations, and this will open the floodgates to new activity with iran and unraveling of the sanctions regime. now, this concern is fed by a number of developments. the rouhani government has been quite skillful actually in pursuing a public diplomacy campaign. you sought at the davos economic forums. iran is inviting businessmen to come to iran and cut the deals. you see the french delegation
now, a turkish delegation led by prime minister, reports of russian oil goods, a barter deal, which has not materialize. the administration has strongly opposed it with the russians and at that highest levels. the talk of that kind of activity raises concerns about whether the sanctions are really irrelevant. while there is a lot of smoke so far, we have not seen evidence of fire. businessmen, governments are very cautious about engaging at this point. they know the major sanctions on banking, in the energy area are still in place. they know that the administration is going to be imposing sanctions during this period, new sanctions under existing authorities, if attempts at evasion are detected.
and so my sense is that this regime come of the sanctions regime will remain in place for the six-month period. there will be some benefits for iran. there will be benefits for iran. otherwise, other iran would not have joined this interim deal. the existing sanctions will provide plenty of incentives for iran to negotiate a final deal. a concern has been there has been so much sanctions erosion during the six months that there will be no room left for iran to negotiate. i do not think that is the case. i think rouhani and his advisers understand if their economy is to get on track, it will require a lifting of sanctions, not just
easing of a few measures. and so there will be plenty of incentive to negotiate. so that talks on a final deal begins february 18, very soon, but there are big differences between the sides. i just mentioned a few of them. the biggest is about the size of the enrichment -- the uranium enrichment program that iran will be able to retain. the u.s. goal is to lengthen this breakout timeline, the amount of time it would take to have enough highly enriched uranium for a single bomb, and to lengthen that timeline, i'm sure the u.s. and its partners in the negotiation will press for a significant reduction in the number of centrifuges, constraints on the types of centrifuges that can be used, types of constraints on the amount of enriched uranium that
at various levels that iran will be able to keep on its territory, and so forth. iran has given every indication that it is going to resist deep cuts in its nuclear infrastructure. it will want to retain as much of what it already has installed, and perhaps even expand what it has already deployed. it will claim that it has got a robust -- a nuclear energy program, and it needs to expand its enrichment capacity in order to his work that program. perhaps a way forward is to focus on the practical needs of that iranian civil nuclear program. in fact, the joint plan of action indicates that the final agreement will provide for a mutually defined enrichment program based on iran's needs.
but what are iran's practical needs? they are in fact quite limited. iran has a small research reactor that has already produced enough fuel to feed that reactor for a long time. it has a power reactor supplied by russia, and russia is supplying the fuel for that reactor. it wants to build some small research reactor to produce medical isotopes. that is fine, we support that, but those small reactors do not take much enriched uranium as fuel. iran's present needs are very limited, and that can be a basis for agreement on the enrichment question. nicholas also talked about the heavy-water reactor. i have no doubt that this reactor was designed to produce
plutonium for a nuclear weapons program. it is precisely the kind of reactor, the size reactor that a number of countries use to embark on a nuclear weapons program. i am sure that is the initial intention of the iranians. they say it is now used to produce medical isotopes. but it is not the best reactor for the production of medical isotopes. much better for that purpose would be a reactor moderated by heavy water -- i am sorry, a light-water research reactor. the head of the atomic energy organization of iran a few days ago in some hints that they would be prepared to accept some design modifications of that reactor in order to reduce the plutonium production threat.
it is not clear what he means by that. one way to modify it is for it to be fueled by lightly enriched uranium rather than natural uranium, which would be somewhat better than fueling it with natural uranium. that would be fine, but it would not be nearly as useful a step as converting it to a light water research reactor. and i think that is the solution that would solve this difficult issue. there is also the question of this underground enrichment facility. this was a secret facility. it was outed by western intelligence agencies in 2009. my guess it was part of a covert nuclear weapons program, but now it is at an underground facility, less formidable to attack. it has no logical role to play in a future iranian civil
nuclear program. it could be dismantled altogether, but if that is too difficult, too much of a loss of face, then perhaps it can be repurposed, converted into a research and development facility with all of its centrifuge cascades removed. monitoring and verification will be difficult. i think it is positive that the iranians have agreed to ratify the additional protocol under a comprehensive deal. that is a good step, but the additional protocol is not enough. even iran's track record, which is a very poor record, track record of compliance with its safeguards locations, it is important that they agreed to go
well beyond the additional protocol in a number of areas. the joint plan of action is a good step in that direction. with access to centrifuge production facilities, uranium mines and mills -- these are things that can give us some confidence that they are not pursuing covert nuclear programs, but in a comprehensive agreement they have to go even further. a very hard issue will be one that is called the pmd, the possible military dimension of iran's clear program. november 2011, the iaea director general came up with a report itemizing areas in which the iaea iran in the past engaged in research activities related to nuclear weapons development. for two years, the iaea and iran
tried to get to the bottom of this, but stonewalling by iran made it possible to clear up the iaea's concerns. so now the issue remains, and without a full understanding of these past activities, it is just not going to be possible to resolve this issue in any fundamental way. it is made harder by the fact that president rouhani keeps saying not only does iran not pursuing nuclear weapons, but it never pursued nuclear weapons. besides that, the supreme leader talks about a fatwa, a religious edict, saying nuclear weapons would be against islam. it would be very difficult to confess that iran was engaged in nuclear weapons-related activities given all this.
the negotiators are going to have to be very resource will in finding a way to resolve this. i think the key will be to frame the issue in such a way that iran does not have to admit past guilt, but provide sufficient information to set up so i dashed to satisfy us that some activities engaged in the past two not have implications for the covert program in the future. that is going to be hard, but it will be essential. finally, i will mention duration. if you look at the joint plan of action, it only says at the end of their that the comprehensive agreement will be of long-term duration. the parties cannot reach agreement on a precise number of years. it becomes very important because another element of the joint plan of action is that
once this comprehensive agreement expires, then iran will be treated in the same way as any non-nuclear weapon state party to the npt, and that means some of the special restrictions on an enrichment program, on a reactor, monitoring arrangements, some of the special restrictions will no longer apply. so the length of that comprehensive agreement becomes very important. my own view is that the duration should be 20 years or greater. i think the iranians have in mind single digits, low single digits, and the sides are very far apart. what is the outlook? president obama had mentioned his view that it could be about a 50-50 probably the best probability. in a state of the union he said there was a possibility there would not be a deal. i think 50-50 would be optimistic.
the differences are very wide. but i think it is possible with sufficient creativity on some of these issues to reach agreement. i do not see agreement being reached in the first six months. the joint plan of action talks about the possibility of extending the interim deal by mutual consent. at the same time, it indicates that a final agreement has to be completed within one year. i think those are the parameters, between six months and 12 months. i think any longer than 12 months, i think this is going to be strong pressure, both in tehran and in washington, that this will take longer. >> thanks very much. there is a lot to chew on, and these jot down your questions and get them up here so that i can impose them for our two speakers.
there was one question that was asked me and written down before we actually started, and i will pose that question at the outset. it was touched upon by bob in your final comments, and this pertains to verification. the question is, the questioner says she wonders whether you could comment on a large role that is foreseen for the international atomic agency under the interim agreement. and for example, the question is, and i think the location is, will the agency be granted the necessary access that they need to answer some of the outstanding issues, the outstanding questions that have been lingering there for a number of years? you mentioned particularly access to the military facilities where there is suspected possible pmd activity taking place. if you could talk about the
iaea? >> under the joint plan of action, the iaea plays a major role. there will be a joint commission involving iran and the p5 plus one countries that will look at implementation of both the nuclear side and the sanction side. so it will play a role. but the parties recognize that the iaea is the organization with the expertise to do the job dared so i would look to the iaea as the principal actor on verification. on those issues, those are going to be hard. recently the iaea in iran agreed to a kind of program of action, six steps, that are useful, but they do not get the military to mention aspects of the past. so this will be very hard. but i think everyone has to understand that it has to
address iaea concerns or there will not be a final deal. >> i would add what bob said and i agree what he said. when president reagan was negotiating limitations with the soviet union in 1987, he said famously "trust, but verify." the verification in this case with iran comes from the iaea. a lot of people have modified what president reagan has said for the iranian nuclearization. do not trust, but verify. you need verification, and we trust the iaea if it is fully powered to be the eyes and the ears the world to assure ourselves that the iranians are not cheating. but given the past record of the iranian government that bob and i have both spoken to, they have not been credible or honest. they have hidden these
facilities, fordow being one example, and president obama exposed it in his press conference in september 2009. we cannot trust the government of iran. we must verify. another final point -- others on the iranian side had really put a spotlight on verification and said we will go the extra mile on verification. that is not going to be enough, because what is being verified is the critical issue. and we do not want to have a fully empowered and constructed centrifuge program to be verified. we want that program to be rolled back. we do not want the heavy-water reactor to be verified. as bob said, it has got to be transformed into a light-water reactor or dismantled completely. so the core of the negotiations will not be verification. the core of the negotiations will be is the iranian government willing to dismantle
parts of its program? then you verify. that is the proper order of thinking about verification's usefulness. >> ok, we will go to some of the questions now. here is a very straightforward one. i think, bob, maybe you mentioned this. what were the additional sanctions put in place yesterday? >> my understanding -- i have not been through the announcement -- but my understanding these were entities and a bunch of countries around the world, six, seven, eight, that were involved in the evasion of the existing sanctions. so they were not new sanctions under the jpa. under the jpa, the u.s. promises not to impose new sanctions. these would involve the execution of existing sanctions, but there are sanctions against leaders of the sanctions regime.
and these various entities in six or seven countries, including countries allied to the united states, were seen as deserving of this treatment. the iranians predictably reacted against this, but the u.s. administration has informed them several times that the current commitment is not to impose new sanctions, new legislation, new executive orders, and so forth, and that it will continue to implement existing sanctions. that was what was done. the iranians should have expected it. i think they are protesting in part to deal with their own domestic audience. >> an interesting question. do you think that analogies can be drawn or lessons learned from north korea?
that can be applied to iran or vice versa? >> bob and i have both been involved, in my case, in the clinton administration, with a bitter experience with the north koreans. i was not involved in the negotiations directly, but we have all the good intentions in the world, and in the clinton framework, 1994, as chris hill did back in 2007 with that negotiation. i do think there are differences here that make it difficult to equate the north korean situation with iran. north korea is a singe state run by a mafia family dictatorship. there's no other way to describe it, really. and they are opaque and cut off from the rest of the world.
they are cut off from the global financial system. and they seem to be willing to live isolated from the rest of the world for the glorification of the ruling family. the iranians are very different. iran is more of a civilization, very proud. it is a key country in the middle east. iran wants to be integrated with the economies of turkey and the gulf and europe and america. one of the aims of the government is to reenter the international system, and therefore i think -- and despite the fact that i disagree with almost every aspect of government behavior in tehran, it appears to be a highly rational regime. that is what it is important that after negotiating with china and russia and germany and france and britain and supporting south korea, iran
will have to answer to the entire world if it reneges on an agreement with the countries, and i think the chances if the agreement to be negotiated successfully are far higher with iran than with that completely mendacious regime in pyongyang. >> i would just add something to that. people often ask me is it easier to sanction north korea or iran? the reality is it is easier to sanction iran, for some very simple reasons. north korea has one big benefactor, china, that is not prepared to let it go under. it is prepared to provide whatever food, fuel, other support necessary to keep that regime afloat. iran does not have that. but iran has a crucial economic dependency, oil, the export of oil, which north korea does not have. north korea only makes one thing
-- trouble. [laughter] the iranians really are dependent on the export of crude oil, and it has been the ability to get countries around the world to cut back their purchases of iranian crude oil has led to a huge drop in oil revenues, close to 60%. that is what has made this nation's regime effective. and so that is what it is easier to put russia on iran, ironically, than it is to north korea. >> there have been a number of questions that have been submitted under your cards concerning the regional negotiations. let me read one of them. clearly israel feels very threatened by these negotiations. what is the real risk to israel from these negotiations? can you shed light on the concerns? let me also add the saudi concerns, if you want to have
that question as well. there seems to be a some of the navy of concerns by both the israelis and the saudis about the negotiations going on. let me stop at that point. >> i think as most americans come i am very sympathetic to the situation that israel finds itself as a result of the arab revolutions of the last two years. all of israel's borders have been stabilized, more dangerous today than they were three years ago with tahrir square in cairo. particularly the trends with jihadi troops attacking the egyptian government. the weakening of jordan, the weakening -- the civil war spilling from syria into lebanon. if you are an israeli strategist, you have got to be concerned. you have this prospect that the iranian government that has never sufficiently answered the
blatant, hostile rhetoric of the ahmadinejad regime. they face a country that appears to be a mortal enemy. i certainly believe that prime minister netanyahu can and should put his faith in president obama. israel has a great friendship with us, and we have been a very reliable partner to the israelis, defender of israel for 40 years since henry kissinger transform the politics of the middle east after the war of 1972, and i hope that israeli leadership would give obama the time and space to negotiate. it appears they will. the israelis will be in a tough position should these negotiations fail. in a way, you know, as you build up leverage against the
iranians, it is important the iranians know that israel will defend itself. israel cannot live and should not live with an iranian nuclear capacity, but neither should the united states. i hope the u.s. will take the lead here and israel will support the united states and diplomacy be given enough time. these negotiations might not succeed in the next six months, they might take longer. if iran is in possession of a nuclear weapon, i would hope israel would support continued negotiations, and i hope the saudis would, too. i'm a private citizen, so i can say this. i have been very disturbed by the public attacks by saudi officials on the united states and on president obama and secretary kerry. i've been disturbed as i have been by many americans by members of the israeli cabinet criticizing in a very public,
very open way secretary kerry over the last two weeks. these two countries have a great friend in the united states, these are tense times. i would hope the saudis and israeli governments will give the obama administration their support, because we need to be unified in facing iran. bob and i are both talking about this embarrassing spectacle of european politicians meeting trade allegations to tehran over the last four weeks. we need the iranians to hear united message. >> if you have more questions-- >> yes, i have more questions. here's a question directed to you, nick. would it be a good idea to ask the iranians to allow a few americans, staff people, to staff the intersections in tehran -- a question of engagement.
there is a sub-question that says, what happened in 2008 with the bush administration? why didn't they ask them? this is a question about more context, but also stepping the intersection in tehran on with americans. >> i take my advice from yitzhak rabin when he was prime minister, when he was explaining that in the early 1990's why he would shake arafat's hands on the lawn of the white house. as a former diplomat, and i teach diplomacy, i firmly believe we have to be talking to our adversaries and enemies, that the worst thing you can do from your own perspective, from your own national interest, is to shut yourself off. despite we agree the regime is odious, we have to have a conversation with them, because it is a powerful regime, and i think the idea that the united states and iran would establish
a consistent channel for our national interests, we do not do them a favor, , we do ourselves a favor by having the capacity to be more intelligent about the country, and that is part of what diplomats do. we live overseas. our foreign services officers are on point in difficult places, and we translate what is happening in that country for washington. when i entered the foreign service full-time in 1982, nobody in my generation went to iran, much less learned farsi. when i was the iran negotiator, there were no talks. i spent all my time sanctioning iran. the fact that wendy sherman, our undersecretary, has had this opportunity to engage the iranians, the fact that secretary kerry has had the opportunity, it is good for us. it does not give us anything away.
it makes us have smarter, better negotiations. i do want to give public advice to the administration. i do not know if the iranians will accept it. it is a paranoid regime. they do not tell the truth about us. that is why we need voice of america and cnn to be broadcasting in tehran, because the iranian government distorts who we are. i trust the obama administration to figure out when is the best time, but the idea that you have constant communications makes perfect sense to me. >> i completely agree with nick on that. interestingly, at this munich security conference last week, secretary kerry sat down with the iranian foreign minister. it hardly made the newspapers. this is a good thing because we need to have this dialogue. we need to understand what they are thinking.
even if we have serious differences, and i think it is good that americans and iranians sit down and talk. >> next question. since this is a congressional audience or largely so, one of the most -- an interesting question -- one of the most damaging and beneficial steps members of congress could take to help or hurt the negotiations over the next six months. i know you do not want to advise members of congress, but this is treated as a general question. >> i think it is a good thing that senators step back from a vote on the recently introduced sanctions bill. we all recognize the importance of very strong sanctions to motivate iran to negotiate seriously and to reach agreement on acceptable deal.
i agree with the administration that now is not the right time to impose additional sanctions, and in part because the particular sanctions that were introduced contained a number of poison pills in it. for example, it indicated that even in the next six months, if iran were to conduct a long-range ballistic missile test or to be seen as supporting directly or indirectly acts of terrorism, then we would be free no longer to implement our pledge that we would not imposed the sanctions during the sixth-month -- six-month period. we do not want iran to conduct
long-range missile tests, but we cannot renege on our end of the deal if iran engages in actions we do not like but are not covered by the deal. also, that bill specifies in great detail what the outcome of negotiations had to be, and this gets to the point of we i have only one administration negotiating here. if iran believes that the only way the president can suspend or lift sanctions, if he can certify he has achieved a deal that they have said is unacceptable, then they have little incentive to negotiate. so this bill has some poison pills in it. it is good, i think, that the senators step back. it is there, it sends a message, but i do not think that message has to be brought to a vote. >> i agree with bob, and i want to add, we are here on capitol hill and there are many staffers here from republican and
democratic sides. congress has already played an important role. iran is at the table in large part because of the sanctions voted by the congress and by the european union. congress has done a very effective job of sending that signal and enhancing our leverage. we might look to history to just recall how america has dealt with different crises in the past, with the president out in front and congress in support. president jefferson out with the barbary powers at the beginning of the 19th century or theodore roosevelt when he mediated that russo-japanese war in 1905, president franklin roosevelt in trying to negotiate before the second world war, jfk and the cuban missile crisis -- these are examples when we entrusted the president to lead. congress also has the final say. president wilson found that out after the versailles peace
conference in 1920. congress, if the president is able to negotiate an agreement, it will need to come back to the congress because some of the sanctions cannot be lifted without congress agreeing. congress will play its historic constitutional role, but at the table, one american, and we have him and he is a very fine job of positioning us at the table. >> because we're running out of time, i wondered as to more questions. i will ask them together and then get the responses. the first is more of a technical question. it is simple -- should we recognize an iranian right to enrichment? that has been controversial. in the second question is, what should iran do to avoid military action while it is still an option on the table?
>> on the right to enrich, the administration has not recognized any right to enrichment. it does not believe there is such a right. the nonproliferation treaty in its article four protects the right of compliant npt parties to engage in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. it does not talk about enrichment per se. enrichment is a dual-use technology that can be used for nuclear weapons technology. clearly, iran, because of its infractions regarding its safeguards obligations, has at least temporarily forfeited even the npt article four right to pursue civil nuclear energy in these particularly sensitive areas like enrichment and reprocessing. even in the joint plan of action, there is no recognition
of a right to enrich. but there is a kind of understanding that in the context of an otherwise acceptable final deal, there can be a mutually defined enrichment program in iran, but not as a question of legal right. as a question of a successful negotiating outcome. >> second question? >> i cannot improve on bob's answer. he knows that subject backwards and forwards. i want to take a swing at the last question. what should iran do to avoid the use of military force? it is obvious to everybody that iran is facing a fateful choice. if they want to relieve them of the threat of force and sanctions they have to own up to what they have done in
constructing a nuclear weapons apparatus, an apparatus to support a program. it is our job of the administration to help to convince them to dismantle it. that is the key issue for the next six months in these negotiations. i think a lot of people -- myself included -- have been very impressed by president rouhani and the foreign minister. they are different than any other iranian leaders we have seen since the revolution of 1978, 1979. it has been very helpful to see americans sit down with them and talk. and think of the possibilities for our security, israel's security, arab security, saudi security, if iran can be a peaceful nation. it is a natural leader, always has been. it now needs to demonstrate it will live easily. we cannot rely on words and we cannot rely just on verification. he got to rely on actual deeds dismember and dismantle their program. that is the challenge that they
face. the question is how can they avoid the use of force by doing the right thing, of becoming a peaceful state, by acting like almost every state in the world. we are transparent, we tell the truth about our national security apparatus in the way koreans have not done. if they can do that, you have seen the president and secretary of state are willing to meet them halfway. and so i really hope that all of us can get behind the president support him, and let's hope the iranians can meet the challenge. >> on behalf of the partnership for a secure america, let me thank both nick and bob for sharing their expertise with us this morning. it was an extremely good seminar on the iran nuclear issue. could you all join me in addressing our appreciation. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by
you never get comfortable if you are always pushing for change and growth, not just in yourself but in the issues that you care a point ine is never time are you feel like you are now here and i can do this the same way all the time. it is always changing. obama.t lady michelle also on c-span radio and c-span.org. next, the first major address since his confirmation last december. he outlines the agenda on preventing terrorist attacks. he spoke at the wilson center in washington dc and the ceo provides the opening remarks. this is one hour and 10 minutes. [applause]
>> good morning and welcome to the wilson center. you are just some of the folks who are about to listen to this. there is a worldwide audience. there are overflow rooms. you are here for the right reasons. let me recognize a few of our special guests in the front row. dr. susan demarco johnson is secretary. she is right in front of me. some of the dhs leadership, including alejandro mallorcas. is julia pearson here? the forced director of the u.s. secret service, who happens to be a woman. the fema director -- you should applaud for that. [applause] the director, craig fugate. and thomas michalski.
he spoke here recently on strategy. a number of ambassadors and members of two groups, the aspen institute homeland security group is in the front rows, and the homeland security advisory council. these are folks who in various ways, including me -- i am a cochair and i am on the other group, are trying to give our best advice. leading dhs is a tough job. some of us were the founding mothers and fathers. blending the culture of 22 agencies reporting to more than 100 different congressional committees and subcommittees -- dod only reports to 36 -- and
keeping americans safe is daunting. security is my bag, as i said. as a nine term member of congress who chaired the intelligence information sharing and risk assessment subcommittees, and who represented some of our most vulnerable infrastructure, including lax and the port of los angeles, i can tell you that one decade after its establishment, the department remains a work in progress. but, significant progress has been made. lots of it has been showcased here at the wilson center. in the past year, we have welcomed former secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano, to discuss the efforts to include the private sector in our cyber security efforts. a washington post columnist on government capacity against terror threats in a borderless world.
and we hosted an event on the vince in north america. over the past three years, we have hosted the winter meeting of the aspen institute homeland security group. that is cochaired by former secretary michael chertoff and me. we met with the secretary this morning about a report we have produced to recommend some action he might take. we hope to be useful in the future. so, today, i am pleased to welcome secretary jeh johnson for his first major policy address since taking office on december 23. as a former assistant u.s. attorney, general counsel of the air force, and later dod, he has been on the frontlines of counterterrorism policy, from desperately needed reform at guantanamo bay to our u.s. drone policy. more said later.
in a major speech at the oxford union in 2012, he said "we must be able to say to ourselves that our efforts should no longer be considered an armed conflict against al qaeda, rather, a counterterrorism effort against individuals who are scattered remnants -- who are part of groups unaffiliated, for which the law enforcement and intelligence resources of our government are principally responsible in cooperation with the international community." that was his tryout speech for secretary. he is thoughtful and courageous and he will need be skills as he confronts the threats of today and those of the future. he will outline those threats in his speech, so i am skipping the stuff that i have put here. i want to say that 2014 will be a pivotal year. it surely is as we speak. in sochi, in syria, and in other places. the secretary is here to help us
understand what is on his agenda. these welcome secretary jeh johnson. [applause] >> thank you, jane. before i begin with my remarks, i want to acknowledge to other people in the audience here today. the first is fema administrator craig fugate, who everyone agrees has done a wonderful job in leadership of that agency. i would like to acknowledge the commandant of the coast guard. he is a strong, solid leader. i know that a number of people are very proud of his leadership. he is retiring in may. after a distinguished career in public service in the defense of
our nation. i begin by thanking the woodrow wilson center and the aspen homeland security group for inviting me to speak here today. i also want to thank jane harman for your leadership and continued service to our country. your willingness to be a supporter, mentor, an adviser to me, and to numerous others around this town. when jane harman advises, i listen. as many of you have heard me say before, september 11 is my birthday. on september 11, 2001, i was in the private practice of law in new york city. like millions of others, i was an eyewitness to the events of that day. i watched in shock as the beautiful, serene, and ordinary work day was transformed in an instant to one of the worst days
in american history. while thousands of people, and ultimately the nation, hosted a tragedy that theretofore was unimaginable. the department of homeland security was born. it was out of that day that my personal commitment to the mission of homeland security was born. for the next several minutes, i would've to take the opportunity that jane has provided me to spell out my vision for the department i am privileged to lead. a cliche too often used is that we are in a time of transition. the department of homeland security must always be in a time of transition. we must be agile and vigilant in continually adapting to evolving threats and hazards. we must stay one step ahead of the next terror attack, the next cyber attack, and the next natural disaster. the most important part of my day as secretary is the morning
intel brief which ranges in scope from the latest terrorist plot to a weather map. we monitor world events in real time and take action when necessary to confront and respond to these threats. in support of russian authorities, we are keeping a close eye on the sochi olympics. they are beginning pretty much as i speak. within the last 48 hours, we have, out of an abundance of caution, issued advisories to air carriers and others based on what we have learned. we have adjusted tsa security measures and are continually evaluating whether more is necessary. also, within the last 48 hours, in response to a very different type of hazard, fema has issued 95 generators to the state of pennsylvania. several hundred thousand people are without power due to the snow and cold weather. in the homeland security world,
no news is good news. no news is often the result of the hard work, vigilance, and dedication of people within our government. we prevent bad things that you never hear about, or at least help the public protect itself and recover from the storms we do not prevent. our overall challenge within the department of homeland security and within the homeland security community is to learn from and adapt the changing character of the evolving threats and hazards we face. 9/11, hurricane katrina in 2005, the underwear bomber in 2009, the deepwater horizon oil spill in 2010, hurricane sandy in 2012, the boston marathon bombing in 2013 -- they illustrate these evolving threats and hazards.
the terrorist threat that we face is increasingly decentralized. it is self-motivated and may be harder to detect. the cyber threat we face is growing and poses a greater concern to a critical infrastructure that is becoming increasingly interdependent. natural disasters are becoming more severe and causing significant economic loss. there are more variable consequences driven by climate change and aging infrastructure. the basic missions of the department of homeland security are and should be and should continue to be preventing terrorism and enhancing security, securing and managing our borders, and forcing and administering our laws, safeguarding cyberspace, safeguarding critical infrastructure, and preparing for natural disasters. as we all know, at the time dhs
was created in 2003, it was the most substantial reorganization of our government since 1947. in my opinion, the creation of the department of homeland security in 2003 was long overdue. many other nations face threats similar to ours. they have ministries of the interior or home office with the same basic mission of bridging national and domestic security, counterterrorism, and border security. perhaps because our nation was protected by two big oceans from many of the world hotspots, we thought that one department devoted to the mission of homeland security was unnecessary. that thinking obviously changed on 9/11. further, consider where all of the 22 components of homeland
security existed before the creation of the department in 2003. scattered across the department of agriculture, energy, justice, treasury, transportation, defense, health and human services, and the general services administration, including departments that do not have national security or law-enforcement as their core mission. in just seven weeks, i have already seen the wisdom of combining a number of these capabilities within one department of government. when i convene a meeting to discuss how the latest terrorist threat might penetrate homeland, the participants include dhs's intelligence and analysis office, border protection, tsa, immigration and customs enforcement, citizenship and immigration services, the coast guard, and the national protection program director. put another way, with the creation of dhs, a terrorist
searches for weaknesses along our air, land, and sea borders or ports of entry. they are met with one of federal response. for me, preventing terrorist attacks on the homeland is and should remain the cornerstone of homeland security. through our counterterrorism effort in both the bush and obama administrations, we have put al qaeda's core leadership on the path to defeat. he threat has evolved. since 2009, we saw the rise of al qaeda affiliates, such as al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. they have made repeated efforts to export terrorism to our omeland. our government, working with others, we must deny them a safe haven, a place to h t